How the World’s Most Spongy City Tackles Floods

Auckland was recently named the most spongy global city in a report by multinational architecture and design firm Arup, thanks to its geography, soil type, and urban design – but experts warn it may not lead the pack for long. Raglan-based science and environment journalist Kate Evans reports on how Auckland tackles floods for a story published by the BBC.

As climate change intensifies extreme weather events worldwide, what can other cities learn from Auckland successes – and failures?

As the planet warms, intense rainfall and flash flooding is predicted to significantly increase. The spongier a city is, the more resilient it will be in the face of those threats, Evans writes.

Kathy Waghorn, an urban researcher at the Auckland University of Technology’s School of Future Environments, is not surprised that her city was rated as relatively spongy. “We’ve got low urban density, we still have a lot of single-level dwellings, we still have gardens,” she says.

Original article by Kate Evans, BBC, August 24, 2022.


Tags: Auckland  BBC  Climate Change  flooding  

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